Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Update on the UTI

In case you haven't figured it out by reading this blog, when I get sick, I get sick. No messing around...SICK!!

Last Wednesday while at work I got that familiar pain in my back and decided to get the ole UTI test. Yep, I had a raging infection. Started my cipro and figured it would be gone in a day or two. Saturday wasmy birthday and I got up early to go shopping with my mom and Anna. Felt ok, not great, and was back home around lunchtime. We had a dinner planned that night with family so I wanted to get a nap. Woke up about an hour before dinner and felt BAD. Went to dinner and felt BAD. Woke up Sunday....ooh, really BAD. Went to doctor on Monday morning to have another urine test and the infection was WORSE! YUCK!

So I got to go to my first urologist yesterday morning. Let me tell you, if you have never had the joy of going to this type of doctor, you are really missing out. When I walked into the waiting room, I was the youngest person in the room by 50 years not to mention the ONLY female. After waiting forever and filling out my life history on 9 pages of patient information, I finally was called back and asked to give a sample. I hate doing these things simply because one time years ago I had a little "accident" and knocked the FULL sample cup all over the bathroom. Needless to say, I am a little nervous about this step in the visit. After providing the needed ingredient, I was told to go to room 3. I sat there for quite a while when the adorable little doctor walked in. Now, I shop stop right here and tell you that I am a sucker for cute, little old men. And he was cute, old and little. Anyway, after testing my speciman, he determined that I needed to have further testing which was a little too much like a visit to my OB. Three hours later, he determined that my lower back pain is caused by female issues and the UTI's are treatable with a different type of antibiotic. Note to self: just because it is not the OB's office doesn't mean that you are safe from the stirrups. Girls, you know what I mean.


We are still just waiting for the formal approval. It has been 12 days since our final homestudy visit and she said it would take 2-4 weeks to get the homestudy written and approved. It has been an interesting 12 days. Sometimes I want our social worker to hurry up, but for what? Once we are approved, we will really start waiting, so why rush it? The other part of me feels completely at ease knowing that all of this is in his timing and who am I to try to rush something.

People keep asking us how we are doing...and I don't know that there is a "correct" answer for that. It sounds crazy to some because we have three, healthy, amazing bio children, but yet we have a void in our hearts for our child that will be with us soon. I remember when I was pregnant with the boys and I would wonder how I could possibly love the boys as much as Anna. God just stretches your heart and before you know it, you love them all the same and realize you have more love to give. It is great to know that you are doing God's will, but it is tough to walk around with that void that you know he will fill in his timing.

The other question I get a bunch is how is adopting different from carrying a baby? In some ways it isn't that have to wait, you don't know what you are having, you don't know if you are ready, you don't know how this child will impact your life, etc. On the other hand, with a pregnancy you pretty much know when the baby will be here....some people can even plan it! In the end, it is all a God thing. I've learned to stop questioning so much and just letting go....

We did pick up our crib on Saturday...our furniture guy Barry Faith painted it for us and it looks amazing. I decided not to set it up until we get moved....

So that's the adoption update!! I'll be sure to post as soon as we get the OFFICIAL APPROVAL!

Update on THE MOVE...

Well, as some of you had guessed, our closing got pushed back until July 30 so we didn't close and move this past weekend. However, on Wednesday, my sister found out that her house was definitely sold and closing on July 9th. They are moving in with us on July 10th so we will be let's count that out. Me, Jonathan, our three kids, Alison, Josh and baby Maggie (who is due July 28th by the way) and Dexter, the dog. Yes, life will be fun for three weeks. The good news? They will have someone to watch Dexter when she goes into labor.

We are moving on July 30th, same day as closing so the end of July/first of August should be fun considering the consignment sale starts August 10th. More on that later!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

My Birthday Wish Came True

Before I head to bed, I had to share my birthday wish that came true.

Months ago, Jonathan and I were jokingly talking about when our new baby would be home. He said Thanksgiving, I said my birthday. Now, I pretty much knew that it would take a miracle for that to happen, but hey, a girl can dream right?!?!!

Saturday morning while shopping with my mom, Jonathan called me to tell me that our cyber adoption friends Alison and Brad had instant messaged to say that they had gotten THE call and that they would pick up their baby girl today at 1pm. So my birthday wish came true!!! Yes, we didn't get our baby on my birthday, but they did and that is just as good. CONGRATS Alison and Brad and enjoy your sweet baby Norah. We have prayed for you continously and it is great to see an answered prayer!

UPDATES coming soon!

Ok, so I am REALLY far behind and will spend the next few days putting a bunch of stuff on here including:

*pics from my sister's baby shower

*pics from my 30th birthday bash

*updates on the last 6 days of the UTI/kidney infection from you know where (trust me, the story of today's visit of the urologist will be good)

*updates on adoption

*updates on the move

Check back folks...good stuff coming!


Yes, I know it has taken me forever but the 1998 Honda Accord EX bought from Katie and Ray Carman is now officially called Roxanne.

I told Jonathan the names without telling him who picked each one. He and the kids immediately starting singing Roxanne and the rest is history.

Elton was definitely second pick though Chris so don't feel bad. It just didn't have the catchy tune like Roxanne.

I think I'll go get him an airbrushed license plate....

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

From a birthmom's perspective

The last few days as I have been taking a break from writing on MY blog, I have been reading others. If you get a minute, please check out a few that I have enjoyed reading. The links to two of them are at the right of this screen. Mindy has two BEAUTIFUL daughters and although I still haven't read all the way through her site, I can already tell we have quite a bit in common. Sherri is a birthmom that chose an adoption plan for her little boy and let me tell you, this girl has given me so much food for thought on her blog.

A few days ago, I found this somewhere (I really don't know where I found it) and then tonight, a friend from the adoption boards sent me her blog....what a small world!!! She had no idea I had found this gal's bio just a few days before. Tomorrow I will post a link to her blog, but for tonight, read her story.

I took a break...

Yes, a break from blogging world. Blame it on lack of sleep, or my 8 year having the stomach virus....heck, blame it on the weather. I just needed a break.

Nothing new to report on the adoption track. I don't expect that we will hear anything for at least another week.

My big 3-0 birthday is this Saturday :(
Everyone keeps asking how I feel about it? I don't know that I feel anything about's just another birthday. After you turn 18, they just aren't that fun anymore....I enjoy celebrating with the kids on THEIR birthday way more than I enjoy my own birthday but maybe that is just me.

I will say that it is nice to get phone calls and cards from friends, but not at 7am and not the day after my birthday. Doesn't that suck when someone calls you REALLY early the day AFTER your birthday and says "I wanted to be the first to wish you a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!" You really don't have the heart to say "It was yesterday!" when they are so excited that they actually remembered. What you really want to say is "You are the LAST to wish me Happy Birthday and you just woke me up!" No, I'm is nice to have people remember.

Everyone keeps asking what I want for my's funny as I really thought about that quite a bit today. Honestly, I know I don't NEED anything and there's not much I want.

So I thought I'd put it out there:
If you could have one thing, what would it be?? I don't care if it's funny or serious, I just love getting comments on my blog :)

My thing (if I could have anything): I would really like a Jeep Wagoner...I just love them.... sporty, cute, funky, and they haul a bunch of crap. It will never happen, but hey, I said if we could have anything right? Oh, and I really like my dad's vintage Toyota Landcruiser (hint, hint)

P.S. I haven't forgotten about NAME THAT CAR, I will post on that tomorrow.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Homestudy Visit Complete

Well, I can officially say that we are done with our part of the we just wait for our awesome social worker, Amanda, to write up the 8 page homestudy and then they will begin showing our profile. She said that the next time we would hear from her would be for one of two reasons. 1)she has our homestudy complete and we are approved OR 2)a situation arises before our homestudy is complete and she is asking our permission to show our profile. GOOD STUFF!

Of course, we couldn't have our home visit without something happening that was a little insane. Amanda needed to see where the smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and child locks were located. Because our house is a newer home, all the smoke detectors are on the same circuit so if one goes off, they all go off. She questioned how we would know if they weren't working? Jonathan hit the test button on the one in the upstairs hallway and what do you know, they ALL start going off with this high pitch wailing and beeping. We all immediately put our hands over our ears as I explain that he'll get it to stop in just a minute. Ten minutes later, they were still going off and I wanted to die. Just as we were about to take a hammer to the main one, they just stopped. I told Amanda that I bet THAT had never happened before!

So now it is time to keep myself busy!! I am helping to host my little sister's baby shower tomorrow. SOOO EXCITED! We have a ton of people coming and I can't wait to see all the neat gifts she gets!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

You MUST check this out!

If you do nothing else tonight, go check out this post on my friend Chris' blog and be sure to watch the video!!! Let me know what you think!

My plants are dead....

and it makes me sad.

When my Granny died in January of 2006, my friends Donny and Angel, Michael and Stacy and my in-laws sent beautiful plants to the funeral home. I sent Donny and Angel's plant to my sisters house because she loved it (and I already had the two others). When we moved into the house, I babied the plants to death, making sure they were watered on time, pruning them, and turning them so that all sides got equal light. I was shocked when I walked in the kitchen this morning and they were both dead. It hit me that I haven't watered them in forever, dead leaves were everywhere and I just wanted to cry. When did the plants become less of a priority? Was it when the adoption process started? When the kids started summer camp? When I started this job?

I spent a few minutes watering them, pruning them and getting them repositioned in the morning light but I don't know if that is enough. It makes me miss my Granny....

Today's the last day....

of our official homestudy process. I have so many emotions running through me right now. A wee bit nervous about our social worker visiting our house today at 4pm. A little sad that the whole process of this first phase is already over. A little sad that I didn't spend more time enjoying the process although I KNOW that it was God driven that we get the packet done quickly. A little unsure about the wait ahead. Some people tell us it will be no time before we get THE CALL, others I know that are just as open as us have been waiting for over 6 months. Yet, so incredibly at peace. It's a wonderful feeling to know you are doing God's will....even when others don't "get" it or maybe don't agree with what you are doing....we KNOW this is God's will. Say a prayer for us today please....

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Only in Greenbrier, TN

Down the road from my parents house, they are building a subdivision. The other day someone put a BIG sign up at the entrance of the subdivision that said "NO BIG TRUCKS ALOUD"

Only in Greenbrier.....

(if you didn't just get that, you are probably from's ok, I am too!)

A quick note to self...

If you are ever filling out one of those profile sheets at your doctor and it asks for allergies, here's a few things to consider:

*Unless you are at an allergist, it is asking for drug allergies. They don't need to know that you are allergic to peanut butter or your sister's cat. Trust me, neither of those will be part of the treatment plan.

*If you are allergic to a certain drug but can't remember how to spell it, just wait and tell the nurse when she takes you back to the room. Yes, nurses and the front desk staff make fun of you behind that little glass window when they are putting your chart together and you really mess up the spelling of the words in that box (I know that sounds mean, but hey, they do). Need an example you say? Well, I'll give you one. Is anyone else allergic to I.B. Prophen?

Another adoption update...

We got to meet with our social worker, Amanda, today for our individual interviews. We also finished our series of training last night. Jonathan and I have two more training sessions, but for those that are not open to race, their training was completed last night. It's hard to believe that after Thursday (our final homestudy visit-this one is at the house), we are almost at the finish line. What is hard for some people to understand is that once we get this process done (the homestudy) and get officially approved, the hard part actually begins....the wait! Some people tell us it will happen very quickly and others say it might take a while, but ultimately, it is all in God's timing so no one knows for sure except for HIM and I am AOK with that. Because the birthmother is the one who picks the adoptive family, we could be selected right away or it could take two years (or we might not get picked at all).

What have I learned so far? Most importantly, I have seen first hand how quickly a process can move when you are following God's will. I have seen how easily doors can open that seem stuck when you are walking in his ways. My eyes have also been opened to the reality of adoption. To be honest, the more I spend time in this process, thinking and praying for waiting adoptive families, thinking and praying of birthmothers and their extended family, and thinking and praying for those on the administrative side (especially at our agency, Bethany Christian Services)...I have come to realize that the reality of adoption is not something that we as "normal" human beings ever really get to witness. NOW, I am not saying that people experiencing adoption are not normal BUT what I am saying is that I think we should look at the example of Christ and all feel burdened for these orphans. They are not just overseas....they are in our backyards. Don't believe me? Google it and check it our for yourselves. Every day that passes, I feel a stronger calling to educate others on the realities of adoption. You don't have to be wealthy or in perfect health. You don't have to have a huge house or look perfect. You have to have a heart willing to serve and a desire to raise children who need to know what life looks like when the glass is viewed as half full. These children need love, compassion, patience and most importantly, they need the Lord and a family that will support them in their journey.

Even if you say to me that you don't think you can handle another child, would you consider going to the state of TN website and look up the waiting children that are available for adoption. Pick one out and start praying for them....specifically for that one child. You may be the only person lifting that child up in prayer. Something to think about.....

On a lighter note, don't forget to vote on Jonathan's car name (see post below)!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Name That Car

As many of you may already know, I find it quite amusing to name our vehicles. I don't have a good reason why, but hey, when you spend that much money on them, you might as well name them right?

Anyway, I sold my old van Helga (the Hooptie) to my friend Sarah about a year ago. One of the stipulations was that she must keep her name and she did (thanks Sarah). We replaced Helga with Betsy (the Beast), my Yukon XL, last May. We sold Jonathan's car recently and upgraded him to Ray and Katie's car and I just realized....he doesn't have a name. Now, I truly feel a 1998 gold Honda Accord EX should be female, but since Jonathan is driving him, I'll let it be a male's name...but I am at a loss. So from now until Friday, I want to hear your suggestions for names for Jonathan's Accord. Whichever name he likes best will be deemed the winner and I will send you some kind of prize in the mail. I don't know what...heck, I am even open to suggestions of what the prize should be. Please keep me in mind that we are on the adoption budget when suggesting prizes. This should be fun...

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Yes, I am up...

In case you are is 4:58am on Saturday morning and I have been up for an hour. It started as me thinking there was a bug in my ear. Seriously. I did that sit straight up in bed because I think something is in my ear move. Then I couldn't go back to sleep so I did that, "ok Lord, what's up?" This is what is up....(keeping in mind that it is now 4:59am and I am TIRED!)

Think of a snake......because that is exactly what I did at 3amish this morning. Not a scary snake like what is pictured here, but the fact of how a snake sheds it skin. Did you know that when a snake begins it's shed cycle that the skin begins to look very different even before it comes off? I never really thought of that, but it does (according to the research I have been doing for the last hour on the web). As a snake gets ready for a shed, a layer of moisture actually forms between the old skin that is getting ready to come off and the new skin that is underneath. When the snake is actually preparing to shed that skin, it will usually get down in it's water source and hang out there for a while. I don't know if this helps with that moisture layer or not, but I found it very interesting (obviously as it is now 5:08am and I am still typing). The really cool part is that when the skin is ready to be shed, the snake relies on rubbing on other things to help the skin come off and a "GOOD" shed is when the skin comes off in one big piece instead of little clumps. This is an example of a good shed:

Why all this rambling about a snake? Because it brings me to what God wanted me to tell you. I want to be like a snake shedding his skin. I want a GOOD shed. I want to realize that I need to get some stuff out of my life and in my soaking that in, I want to confess that to Jesus and repent and let that old stuff fall off of me in one big clump. Doesn't that sound great! The best part? I need to rub up against other believers to make that happen because I am not strong enough to do it on my own. I need help.

I hit the scripture next to back up what I felt God had put on my heart and I went directly to Psalm 51. WOW is all I can say. Take some time today to sit down and read this if this blog post spoke to you the way it did for me. I want to put a few passages of this Psalm on here to wet your appetite...this is GOOD stuff!

Psalm 51: 1-2 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions, Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.

Psalm 51: 10-12 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

Psalm 51: 16-17 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart, O god, you will not despise.

It's 5:29am and I am back to bed...thank you Lord for waking me up so I could have a very special time with my heavenly father.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Accountability Group

Have you ever been a part of an accountability group? I have talked about this before and I will blog about it tonight yet again. God laid it on my heart to start an accountability group and I can honestly say it was the best experience I have had thus far in my Christian walk. He formed the perfect group of 7 women and in our ups and downs (more ups than downs), I fell more in love with Christ and his word than ever before. It may be different things for different people, but to me it was his will and I will always be grateful.

Through that experience I grew very close to 6 other women...some I may have gotten close to otherwise (or were already close to), but others I might not have. I saw their hearts, knew their desires, felt their fears and hopefully I somehow helped them as I know they helped me.

I never realized that more than of the girls showed me tonight the example of what I have been blogging about the last few days. True friendship based on Christ's love for us is a bond that can't be broken!

Little did I know....

How soon the topic of my last blog post would be put into action. Isn't it amazing how quick the devil jumps on you when you put it out there that you want to remove negative influences from your life. I don't want to be rude, but let's get real people. If you are REALLY that concerned about what is going on in someone else's life, doesn't the bible command us to go directly to that brother and ask them about it? If they won't listen, take a fellow believer with you?

Gossiping on the phone and/or in person IS NOT following scripture. What IT DOES DO is rip apart relationships...causes us to be paranoid and have no trust in our fellow believers! It causes amazing connect groups to fall apart. It makes people form opinions about people that are probably not even justified. It may be funny or feel good for a minute, but the effects can harm someone for a lifetime.

Again, I am not calling myself perfect....I truly struggle with this. In high school and college, it was horrible. Now that I am older, I find that I don't talk that much about what is told to me, but I sure do listen. I am now saying that I don't even want to listen. If that seperates me from some friendships, I guess I have to question how valid that friendship was to begin with.

Let's make a difference....let's change the way people view women. Let's start shutting up, standing firm and serving. Most importantly, let's confess and repent for good. I want friendships based on Christ, not based on lies.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Keep your mouth shut!

Ok, I know that I might make some people go "hmmm" after reading this post, but the amount of gossip I have heard lately is enough to make me not want to answer the phone. As a Christian woman, I feel we are called to higher standard to keep our mouths shut, especially if we don't have something nice to say AND/OR we don't have anything to do with the situation we are discussing. Now, I am not trying to say I am perfect (far from it actually), but as you read this today I want you to think about how much you have ran your mouth today. I just talked with a fellow Christian and let me tell you, this problem has got to stop. It is time we get REAL people....stop your talking and start your serving. Next time someone calls me to "tell me" the latest news, I think I will just tell them I love them and let them go. Hold me accountable peeps, the gossip has got to stop!

Hopefully this time next week....

we will be approved! Can you believe it?!?!?!

We met with our amazing social worker Amanda today. The interview lasted right at an hour and we really enjoyed getting to know each other. We talked about how we met, our children, our church, our home and our feelings about the adoption. We also scheduled our individual interviews for Tuesday, June 12. I got at 11am, Jonathan's interview is at noon. On Thursday, she will come to our house at 4pm for our house visit. Once that is over and she has all of our references in, she will have to write up the homestudy and we are approved.

Want to hear the crazy part? She said this will probably happen FAST (not that it hasn't already right!). Evidently, there are several birthfamilies waiting on profiles AND some babies already born and they are in interim care waiting for a forever family.

So I am off to do our profile, which is intimidating me a little bit. How do you show a birthmother your life in 4-8 pages!!! Say a prayer for me...I'll keep you posted!

Monday, June 4, 2007

More Interviews....

It's hard to believe it is already time for our interviews for our homestudy. Some days it seems like yesterday that we sent in our initial paperwork and now we are getting close to home base. Amanda, our social worker, emailed us today to let us know that she had received our file from the director and wanted to set up our couple interview for either Wednesday or Thursday. We picked this Wednesday, June 6th at noon as Thursday is our 10 year anniversary. My mom asked me to explain to her in detail what happens next so I thought I would do the same here (as best I know). Basically, we will meet with Amanda this Wednesday and then Jonathan and I will meet with her individually later on (usually, I think, these individual meetings are within a week). After that, Amanda will come visit our house and get to meet the kids and check out the house. Our last training meeting (in person) is June 11th. After that, Jonathan and I have chosen to do two more training sessions on transracial adoption. This is only mandatory if you wish to pursue adopting outside your race. Based on emails from Tammy (the director), once we get all the reference letters in (right now they are waiting on the ones from my mom, Jonathan's mom, my sister, Beckie (my boss at Gymboree), and Travis (one of our preacher's from Long Hollow), we will actually be shown to any perspective birthmoms because they have several birthmoms who are due in the next few weeks and not enough families ready to adopt that specific race. Back to the timeline, usually the way it works is that you must be completely done with the visits and training before you are shown to birthfamilies....we are just getting bumped up a bit because of the shortage. At any rate, it is wild to think that in a few short weeks we could be officially approved and waiting.

After we are approved (or after Bethany gets all the reference letters back), we make a book called a profile book. In that book, we will put pics of our family, home, childhood pics, etc. and tell the birthfamily about our lives. Jonathan and I will each write a letter to the birthmother. As a birthmother comes in to Bethany, typically she gives Bethany some criteria she is looking for in a perspective family. She may want a family that has no other children, comes from a specific faith, likes a certain sport, etc. At that point, the birthmother counselor and the social workers will sit down and look through all the waiting families starting with the ones who have been with the agency the longest. They will go through each profile book and find the best 3-5 matches to what the birthmom is looking for. The counselor will sit down with the birthmom and show her the profiles. If she find one she likes, GREAT, if not, they go back to the list of potential families and find 5 more. Once she finds one she likes, the social worker calls to tell you that you have been picked and typically sets up a meeting between the adoptive family and the birthmom/birthfamily at Bethany. Each situation from that point on is different, but typically the birthmom will decide how much contact she wants with the adoptive family prior to childbirth. Some adoptive mothers get to go to doctor's appointments, etc. That first meeting is also where they discuss openness in the adoption, etc. The thing to keep in mind is that just because a birthmom picks you doesn't mean the adoptive family has to accept...that's actually a big misconception in adoption. The birthmom also usually decides if the adoptive family will be at the hospital when she delivers. Also keep in mind that some birthmoms don't form adoption plans until after delivery, so in some cases, you may not be placed with a newborn. At any rate, different states have different laws but here in TN once the TPR is signed (termination of parental rights), the birthmom and birthdad have 7 days to change their mind. In that time, Bethany recommends that the infant be placed with a family that Bethany uses to take care of that child. They don't recommend bringing home an infant simply because the mother could change her mind BUT if the birthmother insists that the baby be brought directly into the adoptive home from the hospital, things can change.

If you get the time while reading this, take some time to pray for the birthmom that is out there right now carrying the child that God wants to bless our family with. We feel all of your prayers, your love and support....and we want her to feel that as well. How amazing to tell the birthmom that we have all been praying for her since we started this process...even though we didn't know who she was, where she lived, what her circumstances.....we loved her and prayed for her anyway.